Decathlon Opens 1st USA SuperStore
EMERYVILLE, USA – With the earlier this month opening of its first SuperStore, Decathlon is again trying to gain a foothold on the North American market. The SuperStore located in the East Bay Bridge shopping center in Emeryville, California comes after the French sports retail giant opened a ‘lab store’ in San Francisco last year. This was combined with a U.S. e-commerce site.
Already in 1999 Decathlon tried to start on the US market by the acquisition of a regional chain MVP Sports with 20 stores. Plans were made to expand to 200 outlets in the USA by 2009. However, in 2003 the number of stores was reduced to only four and in 2006 the company pulled back all its investments from the US market. Competition from local players was one of the main reasons for the downturn.
1,511 Decathlon shops in 51 countries
The USA restart comes after the sports retail giant opened brick and mortar stores in 12 countries in 2018. These are Canada, Chile, Austria, Lithuania, Greece, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and South Korea. Decathlon operated a network of 1,511 shops in 51 countries last year. They generated 11.3 billion euro (excluding VAT) in sales in 2018; an increase of 5 percent on the 2017 total revenue. 2018 net profit stood at 497 million euro; down 18.5 percent on the 2017 result. Including opening new stores, Decathlon invested a total of 620 million euro in 2018.
Collapse of renowned chain stores
Interesting to note is that Decathlon’s restart in the U.S. comes after numerous other renowned chain stores like Sports Authority, Sports Chalet, Toys R Us collapsed. This didn’t prevent Decathlon to be located in a shopping center that houses numerous of these chain stores including Ikea, Target, Best Buy and Home Depot. Decathlon’s U.S. SuperStore has a total surface area of 47,000 square-feet (about 4,400m²) and is about six times the size of Decathlon ‘lab store’ in San Francisco.
In April 2018 the French sports retailer also started in Canada. The company opened its first stores in Brossard, just outside of Montreal while a second one in Canada is to open this year. Despite the fact that Decathlon is “Dedicated to a brick and mortar presence”, says the company’s USA COO Sophie O’Kelly De Gallagh, “We also recognize the vast importance of a healthy e-commerce platform”.